The news keeps flying fast and furious this week, as in addition to the six canceled shows that I just wrote about here, ABC has picked up four other comedies for next fall.
The first pick-up is absolutely no surprise, as Modern Family remains one of the highest rated scripted series on television. The ratings haven't been quite as high as in years past, but most comedies would still kill to draw the 18-49 demos that this show pulls down on a weekly basis.
Next to be renewed is wacky freshman sitcom The Neighbors. The ratings ranged from quite decent to not very good, but the show is owned by ABC itself, so the network has more incentive to give it another shot than they would if they had to license the broadcast rights from someone else.
The Middle has become ABC's dependable old workhorse, so it comes as no shock that the Neil Flynn - Patricia Heaton fronted comedy is returning for a fifth year. The demos it draws aren't near a show like Modern Family, but the audience is very loyal and consistent.
Another show with an increasingly reliable core audience is Suburgatory, which is coming back for a third season. Starring Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy, the show is a little too lead-in dependent (the numbers drop sharply when a new Modern Family isn't on first), but this is yet another call that can't have been too hard to make.
Finally, the Tim Allen vehicle Last Man Standing has earned another season. Its ratings really weren't much better than the now canceled Malibu Country, but one thing I've learned over the years is to never underestimate the appeal of Tim Allen. The man has legions of fans, and I'm not being the least bit sarcastic. It will be interesting to see what other show LMS gets paired with next season, as it is now the last remaining multi-camera comedy on ABC's roster.